Last week I saw a pure rays of sunshine flow across my timeline in the form of what I like to call the creative combatting of false narratives. You may have picked up on the thread of this theme in many of my previous pieces such as:
Do Black People Do Classical Arts
Growing up I remember seeing two types of men on TV. There were the few celebrities in acting and sports who were herald by the popular media and there were the men being chained and thrown into police cars or prison cells. The only other images were the Black History Month exceptions when they would roll that beautiful footage of the March on Washington where Dr. King gave the I Have A Dream speech and some channel ran Roots.
The overwhelming majority of Americans didn’t get to see black men the way I experienced them in my community. I saw strong, intelligent, ambitious, vulnerable, charming, caring, proud men who definitely took pride in their appearance and worked to improve their communities. There were some trifling ones too but they were the exception, NOT the norm.
One of the things I love about the way social media is set up right now is that it is much easier to access positive images of black men than it has ever been in the past if you know where to look.
This week I am focusing on highlighting several efforts that I follow on social and popular media that are working to provide a more accurate depiction of black males while “making this look good”.
I recently booked a styling session for my mother with Algernon and he was WONDERFUL with her. I am extremely protective of my mama so when I tell y’all this man has exceptional customer service please know I am being very serious. He also makes amazing clothes and is based out of Atlanta, Georgia. You may view a few pictures of my mama’s Day of Fashion here.
Y’all, I saw a few images from this account roll across my timeline and had to dig a little to find the source. Imagine my delight when I discovered an Arkansas connection. 🥰 This isn’t even about a “oooh they fone” moment. It was just refreshing to see images of black men that were “normal” for me on a public platform. I mean, look at them!
This effort is based out of Dallas, Texas, and incorporates the concept of a black menswear flash mob photo shoot to push these positive images into cyberspace. Loving it!
Last, but not least, I can’t pass up on a gratuitous Black Panther tie in for this because Auntie Ruth cannot receive enough praise for her role in fortifying the fashion mental health of the nation. Do y’all remember that scarf King T’Challa was rocking in the end credits for Black Panther?
Or how about that suit from the club in South Korea?
Then you might be able to picture what I witnessed weekly stepping through the doors of my church on Sunday mornings.
I am going to leave y’all with a teaser for my next post about creatively combatting false narratives with this image right here.
Think you know where I’m headed? Be sure to come back next week and see if you were correct.
Marta C. Youngblood is a writer, education and social entrepreneur based in Hot Springs, Arkansas. For more information on her current projects visit https://about.me/MCyoungblood.